New commercial featuring LGBT parents and their lovely families!

I am tremendously excited to publish the link to a commercial produced by and for My Family! a company launched by my wife and me last summer to centralize media and entertainment for children of LGBT parents (and allies). Below is the one-of-a-kind, multi-cultural ad spot that will run on cable television in the coming months. The video highlights just a few of the many LGBT children’s books, music and DVDs that we offer (more variety in products coming soon)!

Please share and help us spread the word if you like what you see!


 

My Family! TV Commercial (LGBT Families!)

Broadway World and DUTF Announces ASYLUM as Audience Pick and Runner up for Best Play!


Just a quick note to mention how thankful I am to have had the opportunity to be a featured production of the 10th Anniversary Downtown Urban Theater Festival! It was formally announced today on BroadwayWorld.com, that an original play of mine, Asylum, won the Audience Award and was second place for Best Play!

Many thanks to my cast, crew and to DUTF again. It was a great show and will be back on stage soon!

For more information about Asylum, please visit the official website: www.asylumtheplay.com!

Asylum by Cheril N. Clarke

ASYLUM – a new play of mine presented as a featured production in NYC!

It’s been unbelievably long since I’ve updated my blog, but for good reason. I’ve been super busy and am thrilled to post about a new show of mine, Asylum, being a featured production of the 10th Anniversary Downtown Urban Theatre Festival!

Asylum by Cheril N. Clarke

The Downtown Urban Theatre Festival has been recognized as “one of the world’s best festivals for new works” and described as “not only prestigious, but a slice of heaven for playwrights who want the chance to freely express themselves.” For this 10th anniversary celebration, Reg E. Gaines, Tony-nominated writer of Broadway’s 1996 hit musical Bring in da Noise Bring in da Funk, is back as the festival’s Artistic Director.

I’m very honored and humbled to be a part of this festival and hope that those of you who are in the area will come out and check out the show. Below you will find a synopsis:

PREVIEW: The Beautiful People: New York City

Thanks so much to those of you who have been following this series from the first installment, which is set in New Orleans. I had a lot of fun writing that and The Beautiful People: Las Vegas story.
**UPDATED – NOW AVAILABLE**

And for B&N NOOK
Today I’m sharing with you a preview to the third installment of this series, which takes place in New York City. Colin, Vanessa, Donovan and Yen Chu are back for another merry-go-round weekend of partying at exclusive events, flirting with dangerous desires and wrestling with drug-induced drama. Check it out and let me know what you think! This hasn’t been edited yet, it’s directly from my computer to yours. 🙂

Socrates Book Reviews has said of the series, “…well- written and filled with quite a bit of action. This is erotic fiction at its best. It’s an excellent way to spend a couple of hours.”

The Beautiful People: New York City cover art

One

 

Bursts of flash illuminated the stage inside the upper east-side mansion as statuesque models emerged single file to anticipatory applause. In the midst of a bevy of photographers, Yen Chu was hard at work shooting the Spring/Summer debut of a clothing collection by a boundary-pushing Ukrainian designer named Dmytro Stanescu. The event, an invite-only fashion show coupled with a fine art exhibit and lavish after party, was a fundraiser for disabled children in the creator’s homeland. Journalists from the Ukrainian Weekly, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair, select style bloggers and the likes were in high attendance as were luminaries from the world of fashion and visual arts.

It was Yen’s second time working a production at the beautiful but often over-looked Ukrainian Institute of America. With its expansive staircase, carved woodwork and French Renaissance charm, the building was quite a sight to behold. Its uniqueness made it a perfect for location for the evening’s affair. Fashion followers marveled with oohs and ahhs at models sauntering down the catwalk in motif-accented pieces. From pulsating music punctuating the entrance of each model to the excitement surrounding the overall presentation, one would never guess that a thunderstorm had begun drenching theManhattanstreets beyond the mansion’s doors.

“I really don’t understand some of these creations!” Colin whispered after drinking the last of his water with lemon.

“Me either, but they’re artistic.” Vanessa opined. While many of the ensembles were breathtaking there were a few that were too adventure-seeking for her to appreciate.

Colin leaned forward to get a better look. “She looks like she’s wearing a plastic garbage bag with a helmet on!”

“With feathers!” Donovan injected, pomposity emanating from him.  “Come on, buddy, you should have expected this kind of spectacle. This is a fashion show, a parade of trite garments that will look even more hideous in six months!” He drank the last of his champagne and leaned back cross-legged at the knee.

“Don’t start!” Colin instructed, knowing that Donovan could get carried away when it came to the topic of clothing. “I should have never said anything.” Of the foursome, Donovan was always the hardest to satisfy.

Vanessa glanced over at them with a smile. She was happy to be with her best friends again even Yen was working. It had felt like more than a month had gone by since they met up inLas Vegas, but the timing was accurate. “Aw, leave him alone,” she came to Donovan’s defense. Vanessa just missed the fun she only seemed to have when they were together. Flair from the sapphire and emerald bracelet that coiled around her chocolate wrist twinkled against the room’s light when she reached over to pat Donovan’s leg.

He couldn’t help himself. Ever since he was a boy he’d taken keen interest in clothing, learning the rudiments of tailoring from his grandmother, a costume designer for Broadway shows. Donovan’s childhood curiosity blossomed into a desire to construct his own suits and dress shirts. I can do it better than the stores, he’d once proclaimed and was correct. He had an eye for precision and his sewing was impeccable. He’d even made a tasteful dress for his first girlfriend. After convincing her that he wasn’t gay, they went on to date for several years before he outgrew her company and propensity for drama. Good riddance, he’d thought to himself after breaking it off.

Beyond his agility with a needle, Donovan’s fascination spilled over into accessories. He now owned at least 200 ties, 25 pairs of cufflinks and more than 30 pairs of shoes, which he kept neatly organized in square compartments with the front of one shoe and back of the other facing forward. His closet often rivaled that of many of the women he dated, one of whom left him because she felt uneasy about a man who paid so much attention to his wardrobe.

“May I take your glass?” A female usher pulled their attention away from the fashion show.

“You certainly can.” Colin greeted her with a 1000-watt smile.

She winked at him before collecting their glasses and walking away, her onyx eyes and black and white tuxedo-style uniform made her an androgynous allure.

“Yes, this is what I’m talking about. Even the help is eye-candy!” He beamed. “And this one here I can definitely work with!” Colin nodded toward the stage at a gracefully slim male model with copper skin and palpable confidence. “Vanessa!” He whispered. “Do you see how big his hands are?” Colin spoke of the guy on the runway. “Mm hm!”

Vanessa’s couldn’t help but laugh with him for a moment before veering to Yen’s expert ways of making frenzied photograph taking look easy. Vanessa admired the passion she saw YenChuput into her work. Not before long, the show began to wind down and the designer, Dmytro was invited to come out and take a bow. The curtains then drew back to reveal all of the models who had participated in the event, the guests rose to their feet to give an exuberant round of applause. The crowd soon began break up and move about the mansion while Colin, Vanessa and Donovan began walking Yen’s way and they converged near the empty stage.

“Hey!” Yen greeted them. She was dressed in all black save for earthy accessories and a pair of candy-orange peep-toe pumps that she had picked up while working on assignment in Milan the year before. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail with a cascade of tight curls falling against her back.

“Yen, you look fantastic!” Donovan complimented with a broad grin.

“Thank you.” She shifted the shoulder strap of her camera and nudged it out of the way to accept his hug.

Just as Vanessa was getting ready to speak she felt the soft brush of a warm hand against her bare shoulder.

“Pardon me, darling.” A bespectacled yet distinguished looking man excused himself. “I just wanted to say that you have distracted me all night. You look,” he paused to find the appropriate word, “divine.”

Flattery fell over Vanessa like a sheath of the finest Japanese silk. “Thank you.” She blushed.

“You’re most welcome. I would not rest well if I did not say anything.” His perfectly trimmed beard framed a dashing smile. “Enjoy your evening.” He took a step back to acknowledge their group before strolling away.

Yen clasped Vanessa’s hand and redirected her attention with compliments of her own. “You do look beautiful.” Her fingers gently caressed Vanessa’s palm and traveled up to her forearm. “Great hair, perfect smile…” Yen inched closer, her thumb osculating Vanessa’s inner elbow before continuing. “Warm, chocolate skin.”

Well damn. Vanessa felt a tingle travel from the base of her neck down her spine. Was it from Yen, the suave stranger or the wine? “Thank you.” Her thighs tensed at the gentle pressure of Yen’s touch.

“You’re welcome.” Yen winked and smiled coolly. She released Vanessa’s hand but didn’t back up.

There was a gap in conversation before Donovan cut in. “I could go for some food.”  He had been caught off guard, wondering if the obvious tension been Vanessa and Yen had been present during their previous meet ups.

“As much as I would love to,” Yen cleared her throat. “I actually have to head home and get these photos edited tonight.” She pat her camera as if it were a toddler needing attention.

“Oh, come on, Yen.  Stay for a little while!” Colin protested.

“I wish,” she said with a giggle. “Work has to be done because bills need to be paid.” Yen earned a lot as a freelance photographer but spent equally as much on her addiction to designer clothing and cocaine. She had been working on curbing the latter, however. “Party at my place tomorrow anyway,” she reminded him. “You guys have fun for me tonight.”

“Fine then.” Colin gave in without much of a fuss. He had already started scanning the room for beautiful people who might make good company for the evening.

After pleasant goodbyes and promises to meet up at her place the following day Yen double-checked with Vanessa that she had a key to her to her loft. “I doubt I’ll be sleeping when you get there, but just in case,” Yen explained. The two were rooming together for the weekend as were Colin and Donovan at Donovan’s Brooklyn apartment.

“See ya!” Yen piped before heading out.

“What the hell was that?” Colin wasted no time questioning Vanessa.

“What?”

He looked at her as if to say, Bitch, please! “You and Yen? All of this long eye contact and skin caressing! What’s really going on?”

Oh my god. “Nothing!” Vanessa grimaced in embarrassment. “Nothing.” She worked to keep her composure. “And quit being nosey!”

Donovan observed quietly, unsure of if what he was feeling were jealousy or arousal. He’d had a slight crush on Vanessa himself.

“Let me find out something happened between you two and it’s on, okay? Y’all know the rules! No sleeping with anyone in the group no matter how bad you want to. You’ll just mess it up and make everything weird for the rest of us when you break up.” Colin preached.

“Yeah, yeah.” While Vanessa knew he was right, she didn’t know what might become of the night if Yen were awake when she got there. “Donovan, let’s indulge in some hors d’oeuvres, shall we?” She smiled and changed the subject.

-end of preview- (c) Cheril N. Clarke

Check out the cast of characters on my Facebook Page!

The Beautiful People: New York City

Check out the art for the forthcoming, third installment of The Beautiful People, a short story series by yours truly!

The-Beautiful-People: New York City, luxe fiction, contemporary fiction, cheril n. clarke

NEW LGBT Children’s book, “My Family! ABCs with Keesha!”

The first ever ABCs coloring and activity book geared toward children with same gender parents!!!

Order it today and get FREE Shipping and Handling! Visit: www.MyFamilyProducts.net for more information!

My Family! ABCs with Keesha - LGBT Children's book

New LGBT Children’s book, “The Lopez Family: Science Fair Day” available now!

Now available with FREE SHIPPING on www.MyFamilyProducts.net

 

The Lopez Family: Science Fair Day LGBT Children's book

How to Find the Perfect Life Partner, Stay in Love and Make it Last (Part 3)

Making Love Last

In my last post, I shared a bit of information on how to stay in love. It was my humble opinion and by no means a definitive guide. Today I’m following up with the final installment of this particular blog entry: Making Love Last. It has been stated in many studies that “Probably, 40 or possibly even 50 percent of marriages [in America] will end in divorce if current trends continue.” With projections like that, how do we make our love last? What is the secret to those couples who have been happily for 50+ years? How do we guard the gates of your marriage from situations that threaten its existence? Well…

Let’s assume you did everything right up to now and you settled down with whom someone you are compatible with, truly love and made an agreement to share your life together. After the first ten years, how do you ensure that things stay as happy, if not happier than the day you said, “I do”?

Eject Negative People from your Life and Keep the Details of Your Union Private

 

Always remember that familiarity doesn’t equal true friendship. One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is maintain a healthy and forward moving circle of friends. Get rid of people who are secretly in competition with you, people who repeatedly prove that they cannot be trusted with your feelings, who have demonstrated that they don’t respect you, your time or have your best interests at heart. Those who smile in your face but do not support your life choices or your endeavors need to be swiftly removed from your life. You know who they are. Get rid of them because they are not true friends. Familiarity doesn’t equal friendship.

A good judge of if someone should still be in your life is to ask yourself a few simple questions: without the ease of modern technology, would I still keep this person in my life? Is this person someone I would handwrite a letter to and call on a regular basis if that was the only way to maintain friendship? This is particularly true for ex-lovers. Ask yourself if you’d go through the trouble to stay in touch if it weren’t so easy and why you’re staying in touch. For what? What are they adding to your life that you cannot get from some else (someone new)? Are these “friends” moving you forward or holding you in place? Are they pulling you backwards? If they aren’t helping they’re most likely complicating. Let them go and move on. There is too much to do, see and learn with your chosen life partner to be slowed down by someone from your past. As one of my e-aunts always says, “just because you can [do something] doesn’t mean you should.” 🙂 Do not hang on to people who do not meet your expectations. You have set expectations and standards for the people you allow into your life, haven’t you?

Right along with getting rid of negative people is being cautious of those who knows what. Keep your private life private. The intimate details of what you and your spouse do should stay between the two of you. Having unnecessary people involved in the decision making of your marriage is an invitation for miscommunication. Instead of asking for advice or sharing what you did/want to do, sit down with your spouse and talk about your feelings/desires. Be honest with him or her (I will stick with “she” for a little while to not have to repeat “him or her”). Besides, we almost never tell another person EVERYTHING about our spouse, which means any advice they can give is with limited knowledge. No one knows more about your partner than you do. At least no one should. Lol Think for yourself and keep people and their opinions out as much as you can.

Don’t Allow Arguments

 

Another way to sustain a healthy relationship is to avoid arguments. The best way that I’ve seen this done is to ask questions instead of shouting back or talking over you’re your spouse to prove your point. If she accuses you of something or makes you feel a certain way or for doing or not doing something, simply ask, “Why do you feel that way? Can you give me a recent example of when I’ve done that to you? What would you prefer me do instead?” Ask these questions in a cool and calm manner. Instead of trying to prove your partner wrong, push her to prove her point with specific examples. If she can, then perhaps you need to take some stock in yourself and make some changes. If she can’t then you have successfully avoided an argument and ensured that she will think twice before picking an argument with you. It takes two to argue. If you don’t participate, there can be no fight. Be reasonable and talk everything out. Never walk out when there is an opportunity to discuss, heal and move forward.

“I have tried to show finally—and this was the hardest task of all—that reasonableness, so often painted in dull, unattractive gray, is the most desirable of all human virtues. Though it involves discipline and restraint, which are always unpopular, its restraints are tickets of admission to a wider world of happiness, understanding, and effectiveness. It is indeed the great need of mankind.”— Brand Blanshard

If you happen to be in a sore spot with your partner right now try this little exercise and see if it works for you to make things better. One thing I’ve learned to through the study of successful people is that they understand that our minds can’t always tell the difference between what’s happening right now and what happened in the past. What do I mean? I mean that you can alter the way you feel and your state of mind just by imagining being in a happier time and place. If you are having a tough day, turn off all distractions, sit down with your spouse and travel down memory lane. Talk about the happiest times you two shared together, the “remember whens.” Really get into it for five to ten minutes and then evaluate how you feel after you’re done. What could you smile about if you wanted to? When was a time the two of you had immeasurable fun? It doesn’t matter how many years you have to go back to find a pleasant memory, just find one. Take mental trips back in time to relive the most beautiful moments of your life—a birthday, a new puppy, the birth of a child, a graduation, etc. What could you laugh about right now if you wanted to? It may seem silly at first but try it. You can even do this on your own when you’re having a bad day at work. Escape through the power of your mind. It will quickly forget where you are and follow you to where you want to be: in your imagination. It’s a powerful exercise in how to control your emotions, which you should be constantly working on mastering. If you can control your thoughts then you can control your feelings and emotions. If you can control your feelings then you can control your actions/reactions. Are you with me?

Be Open to Trying New Things

 

Take that statement however you’d like. Physically, spiritually, intimately, and so on. Don’t be afraid of pushing the boundaries and deepening the bond you share with your spouse by gaining new experiences. If you knew exactly what was going to happen day after day, month after month for the rest of your life you would be bored stiff. Boredom may as well be death. Death of the soul, and no one wants that.

Try new things even if they take you out of your comfort zone. Check out this list of Non-Traditional Date Ideas if you’ve exhausted or don’t like those then invest in a pen and pad and sit down for 15 minutes a day to jot down ideas of things you’d like to do for or with your wife/husband. You’d be surprised how many ideas you can come up with if you just sit down and set your brain to the task of thinking them up. What does he or she like? What has he mentioned that he wants but never gets around to doing/getting? Think about it.

Remember Your Long-Term Goals and Make Daily Decisions That are in Line with Them

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar

 

Maintaining a healthy relationship and/or the motivation to keep it healthy is like maintaining your body. You must nourish and work on it everyday. It must be a way of life and your lifestyle must be compatible with your long-term goals. If you want to spend quality time together then you cannot watch TV for three hours every night. Some of that time should be spent talking to each other with no disruption and in a balanced conversation so that one person isn’t being oblivious to the fact that they’re yapping non-stop. Go for a five minute walk after dinner rather than watch TV. Talk about your old dreams, open your mind to new ones.

Spending your life with someone is a cycle of coming together, planning, implementing, evaluating, creating, harnessing and channeling – always being in a state of continuous improvement. If you want to get good at anything in life you must study and dedicate daily effort. The same goes for love. Read books on how to become a better person if you have to. There is no problem or character trait that you’re dealing with that someone else hasn’t dealt with before. Trust me, someone has gone through whatever you’re going through and wrote a book about it. When you read, really pay attention. Don’t just go on long enough to twist the text into justifying an ill behavior pattern that you have. STOP and be honest with yourself. Work on emotional maturity and stability for without that you’re bound to be stuck in a cycle of petty arguments and disagreements.

Love is a place where all things are possible and the most wonderful thing about it is you can go there whenever you want. You just have to do it. Do Love. Don’t forget those little touches, the shoulder rubs, graze to the small of the back, the kiss to the neck, the clasping of hands when just watching TV or laying in bed reading. When thinking about how you’re going to act and behave with your chosen spouse, ask yourself if you want to be apart of masses who complain what what’s wrong with relationships or the smaller group who dedicate their lives to changing their surroundings until it’s to their liking? Make your love life worthwhile. Take the reigns and hold on firmly, only allowing it to go in the direction you wish to go in. Never doubt that tall things are possible, never question the power of your own mind and it’s ability to bring into your existence anything you want if you believe it enough and seek out ways to make it happen – whatever “it” is you want for your relationship. Go for it.

*If you liked this post please feel free to let me know your thoughts and to share it with a friend.*

Here are the links to “How to Find the Perfect Life Partner, Stay in Love and Make it Last”  Part 1 and Part 2.

 

How to Find the Perfect Life Partner, Stay in Love and Make it Last (Part 2)


Yesterday I began to tackle a subject I often get a lot of questions about: Love. How does one find and maintain it? While I do not claim to be a complete expert, I have been fortunate enough to learn some lessons very early in my life when it comes to this topic and am more than happy to share them if it means saving someone else missteps and misery!

Wouldn’t it be great if more people grew older and happier at the same time?

Staying in Love

The first year is over. You’ve come to realize that she doesn’t look flawless every time you see her and it takes her three hours to look like that anyway. She might even snore. He has a habit of leaving dirty socks around and he is always late. Neither one of you really care for domestic chores but both of you hate a messy house. You’ve accepted that the person you’ve fallen in love with has some habits that sort of annoy you. Just a little bit, but let’s say you’ve had “the talk” about commitment and you’re both on the same page. Those things are indeed small and not deal breakers so you’re exclusive, now what? (I’ll cover falling in love and that typical six-month marker in another post.)

How do you keep the fire from going out and avoid slipping into a state of mundane routine? Outside of being interesting, yes you should continue this until you die, remembering the goals that you agreed to strive for as individuals and a couple is a good start. You did discuss what kind of life you wanted to build and figure out how you were going to do it, right? 🙂 It’s not enough to just say what you want. You must know exactly how you’re going to get it. What kind of person do you need to become in order to have the love life you want? What do you need to learn? Basic human psychology? Effective communication? What could you benefit being exposed to? Other healthy and happy couples whose relationships are strong and lean vs. fat and stifled by superficial attributes? This goes back to being a good partner, a person who truly knows themselves and is open to growth where they’re shallow. Those who plan their lives are often the ones who get exactly what they want because they Know What They Want. You cannot leave something this important as love to chance. You must invest everything you have down to the center of your soul on making it work if you’re serious and you chose the right person in the first place. I am vehemently against letting life happen to you and urge everyone to figure out what it is they want, find out how to get it and go get it. Leave yourself no option but having the relationship you desire.

George Bernard Shaw, said it much better when he stated the following:

 “I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, MAKE THEM!

The kind of relationship you’re going to have is completely up to you. If you want it to be drama free, then it can be drama free; if you want it to be full of the kind of love that explodes like never-ending fireworks against a sultry the night sky, then that’s what you’ll have. As stated in my previous post, love is simple. It is basic cause and effect and you will get what you expect. If you hold yourself and your partner to high standards then you will get what you expect.

Having a successful long-term relationship only means that you are staying the course and doing what is necessary for your LONG-TERM goals. It means you paid attention in the early days and didn’t just hear what you wanted to hear from your partner, but you heard, saw and accepted them for who they are. It means exercising emotional maturity and knowing how to resolve conflict like an adult. Better yet, it means knowing your partner well enough to be able to prevent conflict 90% of the time. It is possible. Quality relationships can be typified by their simplicity. It’s unfortunate that so many people refuse to believe love can be uncomplicated if they just trusted their gut from the beginning—if they trusted that inner voice that speaks to them when they’re alone.

When I say that it’s basic cause and effect to stay in love, I mean love should be a series of ongoing acts rather than just a feeling that shows up every now and then depending on what external stimulation is happening. Love must be something you do on a daily basis, especially when you don’t feel like doing it. How does one do love? They just do it. They listen. Pay attention. Use their imagination. That inner voice I mentioned above often speaks in a voice that’s too low to hear in the midst of haste. Relax. Take your time. An old colleague of mine once said, “It is better to take your time to get it right than to rush and have a million regrets.” He wasn’t even talking about this subject but the sheer power of his statement has never left me. Excellence takes time. It can’t be microwaved and ready right away. Be thoughtful with your actions and aware of the consequences before you do something that might not go over well. Doing this = getting that. Fill in the blanks with whatever you’re thinking of and decide if it’s a good idea or not. Doing love means thinking ahead and being aware. It means not having your head in the clouds.

Love is getting up to press your partner’s clothes if you see that he or she is running late. It’s waking up earlier so you can surprise him or her with breakfast. It’s sending a fruit basket or gift certificate to Game Stop instead of flowers on a day that isn’t his or her birthday. You know what will delight your partner. Just do it. That’s love. It’s taking six-months to plan something that will last one night (though you’ll have the memories forever). It means thinking before acting. It’s suggesting a better time and place to discuss something that may a tender spot for one of you.

Doing love is…doing all the things that love stands for. It’s being compassionate, patient, encouraging, uplifting, understanding and a source of strength. It’s being able to lift your partner from the dungeons of depression to the mountains of merriment with a firm and secure embrace. It is also relieving your spouse of fatigue. It is very likely that things die down because one of you is honestly tired. This is where paying attention comes in. Hiring a cleaning service for a weekend so your partner can actually enjoy those days vs. working on his or her day off can do wonders. What about getting his or her car detailed, filling the tank and leaving a custom greeting card with a happy picture of you both on the seat? If you can’t afford it, how about doing some of those things yourself? Giving your time is just as appreciated, especially if it’s for a task you normally wouldn’t do.

The secret to staying in love is really just the accumulation of “little things” that make your union strong. After all, we can only build a strong partnership one action at a time. Make yours the best they can be and with the foresight of what effect they will produce. Lasting love is possible.

What are your thoughts? Part three is coming soon…

How to Find the Perfect Life Partner, Stay in Love and Make it Last (Part 1)



Have you ever heard someone say, “I just keep meeting the wrong people,” or, “falling in love is easy, staying in it is hard,” or even asking, “where should I go to meet someone?” Have you wondered these thoughts to yourself at some time? I’m sure a great number of us have. What is it that makes some people appear to effortlessly live happily ever after while others find themselves in a cycle of one unsuccessful relationship after another? Why is one group getting it right while the other has difficulty?

It’s not because “all women are unstable or “all men are dogs.”  And it’s not because love is complicated. On the contrary, the laws of love are simple and concrete. They are inflexible and certain. In all of its forms, love is the truth, and the truth is always simple and uncomplicated. Love is honesty with self and all who we come in contact with. It is when people do not take the time to get to know themselves and their true desires, when people choose to ignore their intuition when it tells them something isn’t right here, that things go painfully wrong.

What do I mean when I say love is the truth? I mean to properly give and receive love one must know who they are. One must acknowledge their flaws as well as their undisputed beauties. What makes you a good catch? What baggage do you need to shed? What kind of partner is your ideal? What are their character traits (hard worker, religious, adventurous?) Are you putting yourself in places where you’re likely to meet them? Are you emotionally ready to accept them when you do meet? What kind of joint life do you want? We must know our whole selves and what we want in order to effectively find or recognize it when it appears before us.

I’m not saying we need to walk around with lists in our pockets and purses. No. What I’m saying is that self-examination is crucial in finding and more importantly keeping love alive.

Finding the Perfect Partner

The first step in finding a compatible partner is to break away from the ant colonies and subcultures of life and BE INTERESTING. Be a good partner. One of the worst things one can do in dating (and in life), is to be uninteresting. How many times have we read “I love to go for long walks, to read and to enjoy quiet time?” While there isn’t anything wrong with those activities, there is nothing about them that tells another person why you’re special. What activities can you get into that are not so common? Kayaking? Woodworking? Pastry baking? Tutoring illiterate adults? What can you do that will make a person stop and take notice when you begin sharing about yourself?

The goal here is to be of real interest to everyone you come in contact with; to be the kind of person who others love to be around and converse with. Bonus points for choosing an activity that will double as exercise and gets your body in optimal shape at the same time. Is sexy and interesting not a rarity these days? You’re already a top candidate if you put yourself in this hard-to-find but much sought after group. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual or if you identify as femme, butch, stud, boi, AG or any of the other million labels we have for ourselves these days. Love is love. Boring is boring and no one wants it. Be interesting.

If you’re currently on the dull side, find something exciting to do with your life. Not only will it make you interesting to others, you will meet new people outside of your current social circle. I know that may be intimidating for some people but if your current friends haven’t done anything to enhance your life lately then you need to be expanding anyway. Don’t make any excuses about never having been a certain type of person. So what? You are not your past or your previous behaviors and you can be anything you want to be. Take a risk and expand who you are so that you’re more desirable. Notice I didn’t say change who you are; there is nothing wrong with you, you just haven’t tapped all the potential you have inside. I’m an advocate of expanding and enhancing, not necessarily changing just to try and be some ideal created by other people. Be true to you. This way you have depth and you don’t have to worry (not so much anyway) about people making fun of you for trying new things. It’s a natural human tendency to want to avoid rejection and mockery even if it means suffering in silence. Don’t kid yourself and say it won’t make you feel uncertain if your current friends don’t understand your growth. Some will and some won’t, but what’s more important—creating the life you want or running in place with them wishing things were different? When you have depth vs. all out change, you can be whatever part of you best fits your surroundings. Go for it.

Click HERE for Part 2, “Staying In Love”

 

 

What are your thoughts?

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